1. Home
  2. Fun Animal Facts
  3. Common Checkered Skipper: 21 Facts You Won’t Believe!


Kidadl Team

AUGUST 06, 2021

Common Checkered Skipper: 21 Facts You Won’t Believe!

Discover amazing facts and information on the common checkered skipper butterfly

The common checkered skipper (Pyrgus communis) is found throughout the United States and Canada, including southern Wisconsin, North and South Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Mexico, North Dakota, and New Jersey. They have been found to live from June through October and March to September. Adult common checkered skipper usually feeds on the nectar of various plants and flowers. The host plants of caterpillars are usually species of mallows plants.

Common checkered skippers do not have a specific breeding season. They may have two broods or multiple broods throughout the year, depending upon their location. Males have blue bodies while the females are brown, black, and white. They can have white spots on the hindwing or rectangular checkers arranged in a row on their bodies. As a Least Concern species, their population is stable and increasing. Scroll down to read some awesome facts about the common checkered skipper.

If you found this butterfly interesting, you can also check out other members of the skipper family with these Fiery skipper facts and the viceroy butterfly facts.

Common Checkered Skipper Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a common checkered skipper?

The common checkered skipper (Pyrgus communis) is a species of butterflies and moths or insects found throughout North America, like the United States and Canada. This includes California, Mexico, southern Wisconsin, Arizona, and Texas.

What class of animal does a common checkered skipper belong to?

Common checkered skipper belongs to the class of arthropods with the Pyrgus genus of the Hesperiidae family. The scientific name of this species is Pyrgus communis.

How many common checkered skippers are there in the world?

There are no studies that estimate the accurate population of this insect. Even so, their population should be relatively stable as they are the Least Concern butterflies and moths species.

Where does a common checkered skipper live?

Common checkered skippers can be found in almost any kind of urban habitat of North America and can range from the northern United States to Canada. They are mostly endemic to their location and not found outside of it. They are found in north and south Carolina, California, southern Wisconsin, Nevada, northern Mexico, Arizona, North Dakota, and Texas.

What is a common checkered skipper's habitat?

The common checkered skipper is versatile and can be found in a variety of habitats, both wild and urban. This includes gardens, roadsides, railroads, old fields, vacant lots, meadows, areas with low vegetation, landfills, and the woods. These butterfly species usually occur close to a stable food source and live from June to October.

Who do common checkered skippers live with?

The common checkered skipper is usually seen alone but maybe together during breeding season or as hatchlings.

How long does a common checkered skipper live?

The average lifespan of a common checkered skipper butterfly is unknown.

How do they reproduce?

Common checkered skipper butterflies reproduce and give birth to a cluster of eggs. Males usually come out during the evening, and mating is done at that time. Females usually lay their eggs on the tender parts of leaves and leaf buds. After hatching, the caterpillar is known to live in nests made of a folded leaf. They can turn into a full adult with wings after hatching from the cocoon made out of a fully grown caterpillar. This species doesn't have a particular breeding season and mate all year round with two broods or multiple broods.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of the common checkered skippers is Least Concern which means that the population of these insects is relatively stable and increasing. It is also a G5 or a Secure species, which means there won't be any need for conservative efforts anytime soon.

Common Checkered Skipper Fun Facts

What do common checkered skippers look like?

The male and female common checkered skipper adults look different. You can identify males by the blue-gray upper side while females have brown, black, and white wings. These butterflies have large white spots arranged as a median band around both wings, and the white spots on the submarginal row are usually larger. The end of the wing has fringes, and it is checkered for males. The underside of the wings usually has dark gray or olive bands and a dull white hue. These caterpillars have black and green bodies. They have dark lines on the body, generally paler on the sides.

Important and interesting information about the flight pattern, distribution, and food habits of common checkered skipper species

How cute are they?

Common checkered skippers have an interesting spotted pattern on their wings, and the color of this butterfly moth is also very unique. While this butterfly may not look very cute, they have a beautiful pattern on their wings.

How do they communicate?

The common checkered skipper usually communicates using chemical cues or pheromones. This can be used to signal that a male is ready for mating.

How big is a common checkered skipper?

The average wingspan of a common checkered skipper can range from 0.75-1 in (1.9 - 2.5 cm). The adults can be about five times the size of a common housefly.

How fast can a common checkered skipper fly?

There are no studies estimating the flying speed of a common checkered skipper.

How much does a common checkered skipper weigh?

The weight of a common checkered skipper is almost negligible and very light.

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names for the male and female adults of this species.

What would you call a baby common checkered skipper?

Depending upon the stage, the name of a common checkered skipper species can change. It could be a caterpillar, larvae, pupae, and finally, an adult.

What do they eat?

Adult common checkered skippers usually rely on plant nectar of various flowers. The host plants for  caterpillars include mallow family flowers (Malvaceae), including globe mallows, mallow, hollyhock, alkali mallows, velvet-leaf, and poppy mallows. The predators of these butterfly species include small birds, spiders, wasps, and snakes.

Are they dangerous?

Common checkered skippers are not dangerous and rarely interfere with humans. As a butterfly species, they can aid in pollination and have a hand in improving the ecosystem.

Would they make a good pet?

Like an insect, it's not the best choice to keep a common checkered skipper as a pet. Their population and plant-eating habits can be a nuisance to many household gardens. Also, they need to be free and in flight to ensure they complete their ecological duties.

Did you know...

The common checkered skipper may occasionally migrate towards the north from March to September. The brood flight period in the south exists from February to October.

What is the wingspan of a common checkered skipper?

The wingspan of an average common checkered skipper is 0.75-1 in (1.9 - 2.5 cm).

What is the favorite flower for the common checkered skipper?

The favorite flower of a common checkered skipper is the mallow flower. The species of this flower they eat for food are globe mallows, mallow, hollyhock, alkali mallows, velvet-leaf, and poppy mallows. They are scattered around the globe but mostly found in eastern Europe, Africa, America, and Australia.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these Eastern carpenter bee facts and purple emperor butterfly facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable common checkered skipper coloring pages.

Get The Kidadl Newsletter
1,000's of inspirational ideas direct to your inbox for things to do with your kids.

By joining Kidadl you agree to Kidadl’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and consent to receiving marketing communications from Kidadl.

In need of more inspiration?